President Donald Trump clearly got a taste for shaking things up yesterday, as he turned to the Supreme Court to reinstate his ill-fated travel ban just hours after withdrawing the US from a historic climate change agreement.
The Trump administration last night filed an appeal to the highest court in the country, asking the nine justices to consider the legality of his executive order which prohibits people from six Muslim-majority countries traveling to the US.
Also dubbed the “Muslim ban”, it was suspended in February by a Washington state district court judge after several people sued Trump's administration following the ban's introduction in January.
A San Francisco appeals court also refused to enforce the ban later in February, leading Trump – ever the showman – to take to Twitter.
“See you in court!” he proclaimed, evading the fact that court was precisely where the case had just been.
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
After a series of other cases at district level, a federal appeals court last week maintained the freeze on the travel ban. It “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination”, the court said, and probably violated the US Constitution.
But the government's lawyers contend that the language of the ban was religion-neutral, and the previous judgments have attempted to second-guess Trump's motives.
The Supreme Court “has never invalidated religion-neutral government action based on speculation about officials' subjective motivations”, the administration's filing argued.
The ban covers Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Iraq was removed from the original list, supposedly in recognition of its efforts to fight Isis.